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Chromebooks - An option worth considering?


skp51443

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I was reading an article about Amazon seeing chromebooks as one of their biggest sellers over Christmas and thought that was interesting. They are a bit limited compared to a Windows, Apple or Linux laptop but for folks that need something to browse the web on with no complications they are a really interesting option. My biggest complaint has been screen size, my 11 incher's screen is smaller than my biggest tablet. I can still see it well enough for light use and the keyboard is such an improvement for me over typing on a tablet that I'm happy with it. A keyboard for the big tablet is an option but at the time I got the little chromebook I only had smaller tablets. I could have dragged along one of our notebooks but the small size, light weight and battery life of the chromebook was really appealing.

 

What is a Chromebook?

 

https://www.google.com/chrome/devices/


Amazon's big sellers:

http://www.omgchrome.com/chromebooks-best-selling-amazon-xmas/

The top seller was the 11.6-inch Acer C720, followed by the (cheaply priced) 13.3-inch ASUS C300 Chromebook (which dipped well below $199 in the run-up and is available in an assortment of colors).

The second-generation HP Chromebook 11, based around a Samsung Exynos CPU with 2GB RAM, placed third.

Acer C720 Chromebook (16GB, 2GB)
ASUS Chromebook C300 (16GB, 2GB)
HP Chromebook 11 (Gen 2, Snow White)




Acer is offering a 15.6 inch screen version:

http://www.acer.co.uk/ac/en/GB/press/2015/151266

 

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/acer-chromebook-ces-2015/


The wife has a smaller 13.3 to watch tennis on from her recliner, the long battery life really helps there:

http://smile.amazon.com/Samsung-Chromebook-13-Inch-Luminous-Titan/dp/B00J49ZH1U

 

Samsung has a nice little 11.6 that I bought because I hate typing on a tablet.

http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B009LL9VDG

 

 

Amazon has a bunch of offerings, a good place to go browse and read questions and reviews, although you might find a better post-Christmas price elsewhere.

 

http://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_10?url=search-alias%3Dcomputers&field-keywords=chromebook&sprefix=chromebook%2Ccomputers%2C201&rh=n%3A541966%2Ck%3Achromebook

 

NewEgg is another good spot to browse and read feedback:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=chromebook&N=-1&isNodeId=1

 

 

If your needs are limited and your patience with dinking with your computer is limited these might be for you. Might also be good for a family member that is getting to the point that keeping a computer going is difficult.

 

 

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Stan,

 

I've been using them for over two years and love it. We take it with us to travel and have used it to get a real time view of where we're at esp. in being able to recognize a turn using the satellite view.

 

There are tons of apps and since it is basically Android based you can use a lot of their apps.

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We have a Macbook but I got tired of sharing it with my wife once she got active on FaceBook! So I picked up a Samsung Chromebook on sale a couple months ago for $159. I love it. Instant on/off. No crashes. Fast. No worries about viruses. Being about all I do is on-line anymore, it works just fine. Only big limiting factor is working with photos. So far the only way I can figure out is through Google+ and it is really a lousy program. So I still do all that on the MacBook. You can now get them with larger screens if you are willing to spend the money.

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I haven't done much with photos but here are some suggestions, first two may need you to be on line:

 

Google Photo App: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/1751068?hl=en

 

Free from AutoDesk at the app store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pixlr-editor/icmaknaampgiegkcjlimdiidlhopknpk?hl=en or main site: https://pixlr.com/

 

Offline apps:

 

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/photo%20editor?hl=en&_feature=offline&_feature=free

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I have been following Chromebooks since they were first introduced. A number of people asked me what my opinion was but all I could do was to relate what I had read. About a year ago I decided it was time to get my hands on one to try for myself. I did a little more research and decided I wanted an Acer C720. I was expecting performance similar to my atom powered 2009 Asus Eee-PC netbook. I was shocked at how wrong my expectations were. The Acer is a MUCH better performer than my Netbook and actually on par with my Core2 Duo laptop even though the C720 has less memory and a slower CPU.

 

While the Chrome OS is fine for many people, I decided that I wanted a full version of Linux. Fortunately it was very easy to install and performance is still very good. There were a couple of issues with Haswell hardware support, but they have been resolved in the latest Linux kernel.

 

A few months ago, Toni, who has always been a Windows user, asked "Can I get one of these too?" after trying my C720. I was able to pick up a second C720 on sale for $139 and she is now a happy Linux fan.

 

Safe Travels...

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I've been tempted for years to get a Chromebook for Danielle. But she insisted on sticking to a 15" display. In the end I got her a 13" ultrabook-like W8.1 touch machine. She loves it for the size and lightness. I love it as a backup computer. BUT, I think the 13" Chromebook would be an IDEAL replacement for a larger tablet. My 10" tablet without keyboard is challenged to be useful in anything but consumption. Even writing a short email is a trial. I use dictation, mostly,but that is still not perfect. I could add a Bluetooth keyboard, but all the ones I have tried have been either too big, or simply crappily built. Seems to me the Chromebook would be a great replacement, and not be that large. I could carry it with me like I do the larger tablet. I always have my phone for a hotspot if needed.

 

I would never use it for ME as a primary machine, but it sure could be a great consumption device. My alternative is the little W8.1 T100 hybrid, which I carry now. But the screen on that is too small. Otherwise it is pretty much ideal. They are priced near each other.

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When our Vista laptop started to give us some problems I decided to try a a Chromehook, I don't think I've turned the laptop on for the last 6 months and then it was just to print because we don't have a cloud printer. Between our android tablet, android phone and chromebook I came see no need for a windows based unit.

 

Denny

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When our Vista laptop started to give us some problems I decided to try a a Chromehook, I don't think I've turned the laptop on for the last 6 months and then it was just to print because we don't have a cloud printer. Between our android tablet, android phone and chromebook I came see no need for a windows based unit.

 

Denny

I don't have a cloud printer, either. But following the instructions my old Canon, which produces the best color prints in the world, can be set to work on the cloud. Just follow the instructions for setting up a non cloud printer. Mine is wireless and works like a champ.

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I haven't done much with photos but here are some suggestions, first two may need you to be on line:

 

Google Photo App: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/1751068?hl=en

 

Free from AutoDesk at the app store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pixlr-editor/icmaknaampgiegkcjlimdiidlhopknpk?hl=en or main site: https://pixlr.com/

 

Offline apps:

 

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/photo%20editor?hl=en&_feature=offline&_feature=free

Thanks, Stan. All of those point to the Google + I was referring to and are really a pita to try to organize and then edit photos. Full disclosure here...I used to own a print shop and did high level editing, etc. of photos--so still look for something like Photoshop, even on a low level. It's easy to find on a Mac or PC--just not on the cloud. It will come in a good app I'm sure--even if in the future.

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The last link is your best bet, while the programs come from Google initially they will download once when you are connected but then work offline after that. You'll certainly need to add storage to a chromebook to do local photo work as well as starting with one with a decent amount of memory and SSD.

 

 

Saw this note about new Intel Chromebook support coming and possible CES announcements. Announcements mean new toys and with a bit of luck price drops on the old outdated gear that still works just fine.

 

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTg3ODc

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I don't have a cloud printer, either. But following the instructions my old Canon, which produces the best color prints in the world, can be set to work on the cloud. Just follow the instructions for setting up a non cloud printer. Mine is wireless and works like a champ.

The printer I'm using is a old laser so I have to hook it to my old laptop with Chrome running and print to that printer through Chrome. We print very little so it works until we break down and buy a new one.

 

Denny

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